Reds’ catcher Tucker Barnhart watches his 10th inning, go-ahead single head to right center during last evening’s Reds’ 9-4 victory of the Washington Nationals that ended the home team’s winning streak at six games.
Nats Record 49-33
WP- J. Smith (1-1) LP- Solis (1-3)
HR- Espinosa, Was (16)
Saturday night was a game of missed opportunities for the Nationals. After trailing for most of the game, Washington mounted a furious rally in the eighth inning that tied the game at 4-4. Some clutch pitching from the normally less than formidable Reds’ bullpen prevented further disaster for the visitors, and the Reds eventually put five on the scoreboard in the top of the tenth inning to win the game.
STARS OF THE GAME
Third Star– Reds’ starter Dan Straily’s outing may have ended in a less than satisfactory fashion as he saw a potential win go up in smoke as a result of the Nationals’ eighth inning rally, but there’s no denying that Straily was special on this night. He allowed the Nats only one hit and one run through his first seven innings of work, bouncing back from his last three starts in which he allowed 17 earned runs in only 14 innings pitched.
Second Star– With Nationals Park rightfield line stands fans’ number one enemy Joey Votto out with a sore shoulder, Adam Duvall drove in the 57th and 58th runs of his surprising season with a first inning double that got the Reds off to a quick start. He doubled again later in the contest. The Reds’ slugger has an impressive .892 OPS so far this season.
Star of the Game– Tucker Barnhart went 3 for four with two runs scored and plated the go-ahead run with a tenth inning single that led to Cincinnati’s win. The unheralded backstop has six hits in nine at bats in the last two games of the series.
Valiant in Defeat- June was month to forget for Nationals’ reliever Felipe Rivero. The lefty was 0-2 with a 10.64 ERA and a 2.091 WHIP in the month. On Saturday, he helped the Nationals stay in the game as he threw 2.2 scoreless innings with a pair of strkeouts.
What a difference 48 hours make. On Thursday night, young Reds’ reliever Josh Smith allowed five runs in 1.2 innings pitched in the Nats’ 13-4 rout of Cincinnati. Last night, Smith was perfect over 1.1 innings to earn the first win of his Major League career.
Washington starter Joe Ross battled and eventually righted the ship after allowing four runs over the first two innings of the game, but the young righty is not performing recently as he did in the season’s first months. Since the end of May, Ross has seen his ERA go from 2.37 to 3.49, and he has allowed 27 hits in his last 17.2 innings pitched.
Danny Espinosa homered again on Saturday, hitting a two run blast in the eighth that triggered Washington’s game tying rally. Espinosa has 16 homers on the year, only five short of his career high of 21 set in 2011. Among Major League full-time shortstops, Espinosa’s 16 round trippers is behind only Colorado’s Trevor Storey (19), Los Angeles’ Corey Seager (17) and Oakland’s Marcus Semien (17). Even more amazingly, Espinosa’s 12 home runs on the year while hitting in the eighth spot is six ahead of his closest competitors. Seattle’s Leonys Martin and Chicago’s David Ross have six home runs each so far while hitting eighth.